I’m calloused.

I went running today.

3.7 miles

Now, 3.7 miles is a LOT farther than running to my mail box.  Which I used to couldn’t do.  (Go with me on that grammar thing; it was kinda fun for me.)

But 3.7 is clearly not as far as I need to run for the half-marathon my nutsoid sister-in-law convinced me to do this Fall.

Pneumonia put a serious crimp in the training plan.  The illness I thought would require three weeks for recovery took ten weeks total.  So, oh, pretty much February through April.

I ran during weeks 8, 9 and 10 of the recovery.  Which was probably dumb.  But, honestly, pneumonia is a poophead and deserved to have its green-phlegm-laced spit spanked with a running shoe.

I tried to be disappointed in myself for the delay, but life with one million children has taught me that our best laid plans are exactly where it’s all going to fall apart.

So here’s what I really think about it:

Whatevah.

Really, I have until October.  And I have a revised plan.  It’ll have to do.

I’m spending more brain power these days on blisters, callouses, wrinkles and scars.

I have them.

From my face to my feet and in between.

And here’s what I really think about them:

Whatevah.

It’s been years now since I’ve had a pedicure.

I mean a more formal pedicure than sitting on my grimy bathroom floor, slapping on toe-nail polish and hoping my 4-year-old boys don’t catch me.

‘Cause if they catch me, then they’ll want some, too.  And we do NOT allow boys to wear nail polish around here.

HA!  Just kidding.

We totally do.

In fact, I’m sad that my 11-year-old boy is too cool for his sisters to polish his nails anymore.

But, really, if my little boys catch me at nail polish time, which is inevitably an “Oh, CRAP, I’m wearing open-toed shoes to work, and I have GOT to paint these suckers” moment, I’ll have to explain that I don’t have time right now, because I’ll be late for work.  I’ll also have to explain that they should ask their 12-year-old sister, ’cause she’s WAY better at it.

None of which will work, because they’ll want their nails painted NOW.  And I’ll wonder when I got so unfun that I won’t paint my little boys’ toes.  So I’ll be late for work because I’m painting their nails.  And I’ll get to work and find that I wasn’t as careful as I tried to be, so I have nailpolish (or boogers or yogurt or a hairball from my gross bathroom floor) on my work pants.  And…

Well, you get the idea.

I haven’t had a real pedicure in years.

The relaxing kind.

With someone massaging my calves and making me wonder if I shaved well enough to not be embarrassed.

With a wall of nail colors that makes me feel inferior because I’m always certain that I’m going to painfully reveal my terrible fashion sense as soon as I choose Cantankerous Cantaloupe over Grovin’ Guava.

With parafin wax that softens my feet so they slip and slide in those thin, foam flip-flops they give me because I never bring my own flip-flops because I’m always missing one of each pair because it’s been used as a baseball bat or a shovel in my backyard and I won’t find it ’til it’s unearthed in one of the dog’s deep-dig escape attempts.

Oh, screw it.  It’s just too hard to bring myself to pay real money for that kind of stress.

And besides, ever since I started running, I feel sad when they sand my callouses away.

I’m very attached to my callouses.

My callouses are good to me.

I worked hard – running with pneumonia hard – to earn them, and they keep me from blistering.

The very last thing I want to do is shave those suckers off and run on tender feet.  Because that HURTS, dang it!

I guess I’ve gotten to the part of life where I value my callouses more than I value good lookin’ feet.

Sandal Season, I’m very, very sorry you had to find out this way.

 

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ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
13 comments
  1. At 61 years of age, I was just given a GC to my first pedicure. BOY! It was glorious, and I don’t think it’s gonna be my last. I love the way they massaged my legs and , we;ll, I loved all of it.
    Hope you can get away to get one soon. Mommies deserve being spoiled.

  2. What’s a pedicure? Haven’t seen one of those in years! Hey, ditto, good for you on your running mileage! I couldn’t do it. I’ve got a powerful hit and kick on the punching bag, but no stamina. Keep those callouses, and I’ll keep my bruises. They add character. : )

    1. Good on ya for the punching bag! I need to get one of those. Ian keeps getting stronger (must be his sparring partner ;)), and today when he “slug bugged” me… OUCH! Had to have a conversation about not actually punching *through* me while I’m driving. I’d hoped to stay on the callouses side of the fence, but I’m afraid I’m venturing into bruise territory.

  3. Thank you so much for the fortuitous blog post! I have pedicures done very infrequently. When the ladies from work take me for my birthday. When I have a gift certificate. When I have a job interview coming up. I just happened to be planning to go this afternoon after work. I read your blog on my phone while waiting at the doctor’s office this morning. I promptly went straight home before going to work to shave my legs and search for my flip flops. Thanks for making me look like I’ve got it all together!

    1. That’s right, baby! Changing one life at a time. 😉

      But, more importantly, what polish color did you choose??

  4. Well you are ahead of me in training for the run! Lucky! I can’t even complain about callouses – but I do sit and rub them off every 3-4 weeks after I put the baby to bed when hubby is out of town, I mean – what else is a girl to do???
    I am with you on the “Whatevah” I think that will be my new phrase to my kids when they come back with some ridiculous comment or disgust with a task – yep – that is it! Whatevah!

    1. So are you able to get out and run again?? Or are you still down for now? I do so hope to get to do the 1/2 with you! (And, by “with,” I mean I hope you’re OK waiting a few hours for me at the finish line. :))

      Follow-up blog post that’s only in my head, but that I know you’ll appreciate, Susan… when callouses outlive their usefulness and it’s important to be tender again, even when being tender risks blisters and pain. One of these days, maybe I’ll get that written.

      1. Susan,

        My 2-year-old is already parrotting back to me what is apparently my favorite parenting rebuttal – “Too bad.”

  5. I’m so impressed that you are running almost 4 miles. (I’m a firm believer in rounding up when it suits me.) I can barely do two and that’s with an entertaining tv show (think Jimmy Kimmel) in front of me, without that, forget-about-it.

    1. Aw! Thanks, Kristen.

      FYI – I just heard a Jimmy Kimmel interview on NPR where he did the “Charles in Charge” song Bob Dillon style. I almost had to pull my car over ’cause I couldn’t see the road for the laughing tears… that would make it HARD to run! 😀

  6. I’m so impressed that you are running almost 4 miles. (I’m a firm believer in rounding up when it suits me.) I can barely do 2!

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